I am looking for a reasonably priced (under $150) hand held scope, Intended use is on the water so it must be handheld, water and fog proof with a durable strapping device. I would prefer 10X50 or close to that optics and a one-finger focus knob. I ordered one only to return it as, after one use it fogged-up on its inside. I had a different brand once, was happy with it but lost it to the river as the tiny screw that attached the strap to its body came out. Thanks, Ted
I’ve had good luck with the Celestron Outland X. 10x50 makes me queasy with any jostle from the water while viewing through that magnification. The 6x30 of the Outland is quick and easy for most of my eagle watching on the Hudson. Fits all your other parameters. $55
See you on the water,
The River Connection, Inc.
9 W. Market St., Hyde Park, NY 12538
Not sure this is the one Marshall mentioned, it’s only $25 at B&H, maybe a lesser version:
I recommend B&H as a good, honest optics vendor - they will steer you right and have good customer service.
If you’d be open to compact binoculars, I have a set of Brunton Echo 8 x 32 that I love. Small enough to easily fit in my under deck bag, sharp optics, great light transmission. I use them for wildlife watching & concerts at a local outdoor concert venue. SO much better than any monocular I’ve tried, IMHO.
I too use compact binoculars. I have older - and expensive - Zeiss 10x40, and Leica 10x25 but I don’t want to risk them in my kayak. So a couple of years ago I bought some Nikon Trailblazer 10x25 for under $100. The optical quality is quite decent even if one tube fogged up after a year. I contacted Nikon and they replaced the binoculars without question. So far, the new ones have been fine.
I think you’ll find that a 10x50 is both unwieldy and difficult to use on the water, as the visible shaking will make it difficult to focus on anything. Brunton used to make a really nice, rubber armored, waterproof, 6x30, fixed focus monocular. I’ve found it to be ideal for one-handed use on the water. Perhaps you can find one on Ebay. I also have a 10x50 (Redfield, IIRC) which is a nice optic, but I don’t use it on the water for the reasons I mentioned above.
I love hanging out on a beach with a good pair of binoculars. Not in a perverted, checking out chicks type of way, although there is that. But on camping trips with remote beaches, I really like to spend time checking everything out, and good binos allow you to do that. I have a pair of Brunton midsize 10xwhatever that have held up pretty well for 10 years, not sure if they’re still made. Work well enough from a stable boat in flat water, but hard to stash other than stuffing them in your life jacket. I worked with a guy who had Leica binoculars and there was no comparison between the Leica and the Brunton, his were clearer, brighter and hardly needed any focusing.
Looks like Brunton still makes a scope. http://www.brunton.com/collections/optics-1/products/echo-pocket-scope-green#desc
Just checked, the Brunton Echo 8x32 is discontinued. I have Nikon 10x25 ProStaff ATB and really like them. I compared them to the little Leica 10x25 at the time of purchase, and they were indistinguishable to me and much easier to use - they are a weird shape but comfortable. They certainly can’t compare to a 50 mm aperture, of course. Wish I’d bought the 12x version.
Like Marshall, 10x on the water would make feel queasy. I’m not normally prone to motion sickness, but I avoid reading or staring with magnification when in motion. A quick look thru 8x binos was OK. Then I tried someone else’s 10x set and could not avoid the jiggles. No point getting higher power if you can’t hold it steady enough on water. On land, you can put it on a tripod.
The magnification you need really depends on what your interests are. If like me your primary interest is watching birds while kayaking then 10 power is pretty much the minimum you need. For general, all around use I could see that 6 or 7 might be a better choice.
It’s all a trade-off between power, field of view, size, weight, how easy they are to use, and to a lesser extent these days - as optical quality has really improved in less expensive models - cost.